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Critical Reading and Writing II (CRWT 102) - Prof. Vallo  

Last Updated: Mar 31, 2017 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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This guide will help you find reliable, authoritative sources for your CRWT II research paper assignment.

You will learn how to:

  • Develop search strategies to find the best resources
  • Navigate the library catalog to find books
  • Navigate library databases to find articles
  • Cite the sources you find
  • Know where to find help


Your Assignment

For this paper you will explore, analyze and apply your argument skills to one of the readings in “Best Essays of the Century,” specifically looking at the context of the time when it was written and how it related to that time. In addition, you will contrast that historical context to the world today and determine whether the meaning of the essay still holds in the modern world.

Some things to consider:

How did this essay represent and/or shape the time in which it first appeared? How did that change over time? What was the reception when it first appeared? Did that change?

You will be taking a position on the importance and role of your choice at the time it was introduced and exploring whether that importance changed over time.


Look into the social context of your essay. What were political and social issues of the time?

What about the author? Did he or she have a particular role in the cultural/popular/political world of the time?

How was the author received/reviewed at the time?

Have a particular focus. It is too hard to cover all aspects of life, so concentrate on one, such as family relations, race, class, politics, gender or national identity.

Have a working thesis, or research question to begin with, but it is not possible to clarify your own position until you clarify the ideas of others. At this point, you can establish your own position.


Length: Minimum 8 double-spaced pages in MLA format, with Works Cited.

Sources: Consult any number of authoritative sources and cite at least five in your paper, including at least one from a newspaper and one from a book. It is fine to use a source read in class, but then add five other new sources as well.
Citations: Use MLA parenthetical documentation style. Include a Works Cited page at the end of the paper.

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